Top Five Natural Energy Boosters
|By Carolyn Occhipinti, Staff Writer on Tuesday, May 29, 2012|
|Trying to kick your coffee addiction? There are more natural ways to help you get the energy you need to get through your day. Find out which five natural supplements made our list as the best alternative to java.||
If you’re tired of that mid-day coffee crash, it’s time to set down your mug and turn to a caffeine-free energy booster. Believe it or not, there's natural, healthy ways to get the energy you need.
To prevent low energy, it's always best to start with a balanced diet, plenty of vitamin D and to make sure you're getting plenty of sleep. Beyond that, you can try a caffeine-free supplement to keep you feeling alert and active all day. These supplements provide essential nutrients as a source of energy rather than caffeine which can give you peaks and valleys in your energy levels.
Here are the top five natural energy boosters to perk up your day:
Vitamin B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, which lead to energy production. This vitamin’s also known to improve hair, skin and nails while also maintaining healthy digestive, immune and central nervous systems and preventing cancer. Being deficient in vitamin B12 can leave you feeling fatigued without any energy. B-complex vitamins give that extra boost while reducing stress. Try a vitamin B12 supplement or look for a multivitamin with high levels of B-complex vitamins.
Ginseng is popular for enhancing stamina and physical endurance. It strengthens the body and increases energy by working as an adaptogen, allowing the body to function normally in times of physical or emotional stress. Ginseng is available on its own and should be taken for six to eight weeks at a time, with a week or two resting period before starting again. This herb can interact with anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners, so check with a doctor before adding ginseng to your supplement regimen.
L-carnitine, also known as acetyl-l-carnitine, is one of the best amino acids for increasing energy and muscle mass by playing a critical role in converting fat into energy. L-carnitine is a naturally occurring substance found in most cells of the body -- especially the brain, neural tissue, muscle and heart. Since l-carnitine is found mostly in meats and dairy products, anyone practicing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can be deficient in this essential amino acid. L-carnitine is also shown to enhance mental clarity and focus. You can find l-carnitine in premade energy drinks, sports drinks and smoothies, or as an individual supplement.
Spirulina, next to alfalfa, chlorella and barley grass, is one of the green foods rising to fame. It’s a blue-green algae that's packed with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients. These components make spirulina a powerful energy booster. It also contains antioxidants and gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that can help with inflammation as well as weight management. You can find spirulina in liquid, tablet or powder form.
Green Tea Extract:
Green tea extract contains bioflavnoids known for increasing energy and boosting the body’s metabolic rate. Green tea also contains some of the most potent antioxidants, like EGCG, with a wide variety of health benefits. Green tea extract has been proven to support cardiovascular health, slow mental decline and enhance weight loss. Green tea naturally contains caffeine and green tea extract is a common ingredient in energy drinks, bars and supplements -- taking it as a supplement provides all the energy boosting benefits without the caffeine or added ingredients like sugar.
We all need a little boost some days, but these supplements can keep you from even having an "off day." Always be sure to speak with your physician if you're currently taking any medications before adding an energy supplement to avoid potential drug interactions or any side effects.
Which non-caffeine energy booster is your favorite?
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